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Garrett’s Got Guts: Edition Two!

I was so proud of now Rep. Tom Garrett of Virginia when he dared stand up to a powerful state senator:   My column was entitled WOW! Garrett’s Got Guts.

Well, now the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan got a taste of the Garrett Guts.  Here’s the Breitbart story and a few highlights:

Rep. Tom Garrett announced his intent to file a discharge petition that would put that clean Obamacare repeal bill before the House. Garrett said, “I commend both the President and Republican leadership for working to replace the monstrosity that is Obamacare. However, we have seen discussions for replacement continue to stall and we must change our approach to reforming healthcare.”

If you prefer a source other than Breitbart, I can understand, so try Rep. Garrett’s website:

Garrett went on to say, “The House should lead with an incremental approach by supporting a clean-repeal bill and then enter into replacement negotiations. As such, I just initiated a seldom-used parliamentary procedure to advance H.R. 1436 through a discharge petition. The overwhelming majority of my Republican colleagues cast their vote in support of this legislation in 2015, and I have faith they will do nothing short of that now.”

A discharge petition is a parliamentary device to force a floor vote on a piece of legislation bottled up in committee.  It is seldom successful.  One of the best examples of a successful discharge petition is the one radical Rep. Vito Marcantonio (at the time: American Labor Party-NY) filed to force a vote on anti-poll tax legislation in the House in both 1942 and 1944:

Marcantonio’s greatest legislative crusades were on behalf of two civil rights bills: the Anti-Poll Tax Act and the Fair Employment Practices Commission Act (FEPC). Marc introduced the first Anti-Poll Tax bill in 1942. When the bill was pigeonholed in the Judiciary Committee Marc began a slow campaign to obtain 218 signatures on a petition to force the bill to the House floor. He ensured that each signature, as well as the impassioned floor debate received maximum press coverage. Arguing that the abolition of the poll tax would extend “democracy to disenfranchised Negroes and whites,” he connected the bill’s passage to the war effort, saying, “The continuance of the poll tax is discrimination and makes for disunity….Abolition of the poll tax abolishes this form of discrimination and makes for unity that is vital to victory.”

The bill passed the House, only to die in the Senate. Marcantonio succeeded in having it passed in the next session, using the same tactics, but it suffered the same fate.

You can help by asking your representative to sign the discharge petition.  Like a petition to get a candidate or issue on the ballot, it does not bind the signer to support the legislation.  It is just to get the item to the floor for a vote.

Chances are this will not succeed.  But win or lose:  Garrett’s Got Guts!  If you in his (Fifth) district and mad at the GOP – don’t take it out on Tom Garrett.  Take it out on Senator Tim Kaine instead.  Or give money to groups that will run ads to shame the reps and senators that won’t repeal Obamacare.


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

10 Responses to “Garrett’s Got Guts: Edition Two!”

  1. Jay D. says:


    You musta missed the bills introduced by Garrett who supports legalization of marijuana and illegals and non citizens serving in the military. The bill where Garrett wants a post office named for KHAN- son whose father is the radical Muslim activist for Sharia Law who spoke at the Democratic National Convention for Hillary? Yeah that Khan from Charlottesville who is left of Karl Marx.

    Garrett needs to be primaried in 2018 by a CONSERVATIVE not a show boater.

    • T Kane says:

      C’mon, you can bring more hate to the surface than that! Divide, divide, divide and then get conquered. It’s what Commonwealth Republicans do!

  2. Gene Lefty says:

    Total BS. Garrett voted “yea” to the Obamacare replacement bill, HR1628. The Republican cowards in the US House voted to just kick the can to the Senate. The Trumpcare bills are far worse than Obamacare. Garrett voted “yea” along with all but one of the Republican liars and losers in the US House on HR1628. Only one Virginia Republican had the courage to stand up to the lying bully in the White House and vote “nay” to HR1628. And it wasn’t Tom Garrett. It was Barbara Comstock.

    Trump lied about who would pay for his Wall, Trump lied about his healthcare bill, Trump lied about Medicare. Trump is a lie. So was Clinton.

    Now, Garrett wants to grandstand in front of a microphone. Yea, right, well get in line behind Brat, Tom.

  3. Jay D. says:

    Khan is a Muslim Sharia Law activist and Garrett wants to honor his son with a Post Office. PANDERING to the Muslim Vote. Why don’t you do something about Jihad Central in Red House VA- Tom?—d0df06f0-669a-11e7-88f6-e7d8f70cf183.html

  4. Jay D. says:

    Congressman Tom Garrett teams up with Socialist Bernie Sanders to legalize Marijuana- Millenials get baked instead of working. Small business nightmare for insurance and mandatory drug testing.

    Not so Conservative huh Mr. Sanders? This is what happens when a Congressman marries a bar fly second time around.

  5. Jay D. says:

    Still think Tom Garrett is anything but a pandering RINO? read this……

    Tom Garrett supports the Enlist Act H.R. 60
    Michael Cutler:


    Do your homework on Tom Garrett next time Mr. Sanders. Once again you were duped.

  6. Wow! At least a few people are READING the blog; I am not wasting my time.

    The Federal marijuana law as well as most other Federal drug laws (other than border security and maybe interstate drug transport of large amounts) ought to be repealed. So Garrett’s right on this.

    I did look up the ENLIST Act and it seems to be a DREAMer act that makes military service as a path to permanent residency (not yet citizenship but could be later that status) and I could support that. I would have to study it and know what the services think of it. But I am not opposed in principle. Immigration is a touchy issue and must be handled ethically and with some humanity.

    The post office for the son of Khan – I would have to know more on that but again – the son is the issue not the father and certainly not the religion of the son. Maybe some pandering. But without more info I’d not oppose it in principle.

    Many conservatives did vote for the second House “Ryancare” bill. It was allegedly improved over the initial one.

    One or two bad bills does not make a RINO make. Tom Garrett is willing to stand up to leadership – that is a huge asset to anyone. I would not hesitate to do so if I were elected. Yes respect the leadership but not kowtow to it/them.

    Thanks to Lefty and Jay D for their input. My tarantula attention span will appreciate it in the future.

  7. John Carey says:

    Thank you Sandy and Tom White for keeping it real unlike other folks in the Virginia political blogosphere whose names will go unmentioned! LOL

  8. Jay D. says:


    The “Criminalization of Marijuana” is a critical tool for Sessions and ICE and DHS to arrest illegals for deportation. Under Obama and Eric Holder, more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors ( UACs) migrated illegally into the US from Central America. Many are now MS 13 gang members. DEALING DRUGS.

    The CIA’s War on Drugs was a purposefully failed op for the past 50 years while heroin and cocaine poured into the US through open borders and is now the most effective means to Deport Illegals. Be careful what you LIbertarians and Tom Garrett wish for with your “decriminalization” legislation. There’s a Trump in the White House and a Sessions in the AG’s office that disagrees with your strategy. They are playing a bigger game- DEPORTATION of ILLEGALS.

    The Democrats scream about the “opioid crisis” yet demand the open borders and illegal immigration bringing gangs to the US to keep Americans addicted. Go figure. $45 billion in “opioid addiction” funding in the GOP healthcare bill.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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